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[casi] [Fwd: Stabilizing Iraq by Iraqis]

-------- Ursprüngliche Nachricht --------
Betreff: Stabilizing Iraq by Iraqis
Datum: Sat, 17 May 2003 10:38:18 +0200
Von: KRGinGermany <>
An: Alexander Sternberg <>

Buero Berlin: Bitte von meinem privaten Konto weiterleiten an


Baathists, Fedeyeen Saddam, other staunch Saddam loyalists, criminals,
WMD sites, banks, places of key civilian importance, etc. All were very
well known knowns before 20 March. None were among the known unknowns or
unknown unknowns, terms highlighted by the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
The fall and stabilization of Baghdad as the key strategic objective on
the road to reconfiguring Iraq was always a non-issue. So, why the
[avoidable] mess? For the moment, let's forget about 20/20 hindsight
being what it is.

Up here in Iraqi Kurdistan, news, rumors, and hearsay coming up from
Baghdad have been ominous. Baghdad is only a 4-hour drive south and
up-down traffic, now without threatening checkpoints, has been inviting.
Thousands here have thousands of friends, relatives, and colleagues
there. They grew up there, played marbles together. Many up here
attended Baghdad universities.

Personal observations are deeply affecting personal judgments which are
adversely affecting personal views about U.S. intentions and capabilities.

Under Saddam, if you were "ordinary," not involved in anything that
could be construed to be either pro or anti regime, life - personal
security - was quite secure. Politically, there was "a" stability.
Today, that's all changed, to the point where many are voicing that life
in Iraq was less threatening under Saddam's regime than it currently is
under U.S. administration. They don't see the U.S. getting it under
control. They are afraid the U.S. will give up and leave as they have
done before, here and elsewhere in the world.

Iraq is not a third-world country. Repeat, Iraq is not a third-world
situation, whatever that might construe in some minds. Iraq is a country
of abundant assets, both human and material. Iraqis move, they are
skilled and disciplined and hardworking.

It was Saddam who in 1991 drew the line separating Iraqi Kurdistan from
the rest of the country. Prior to that it was all one country where
Iraqis could travel and work and live most anywhere, with some
restrictions in some areas, of course. Many people here have living and
working experience in many other parts of Iraq.

Iraqi Kurdistan is part of Iraq. Since 1991 it has come a long ways. The
region has done much for itself. It has plenty of assets. Thus, it is
somewhat unfathomable why the U.S. has not taken full advantage of
assets readily available here in Iraqi Kurdistan, right here in Iraq.

One idea. Under clear terms and conditions, including timeframes, why
have the regional authorities not been engaged in providing a package of
services to one or more parts of Baghdad, or any other community in the
rest of the country for that matter. Many of the professionals here have
served elsewhere in Iraq. They know the people, they know the language,
they have the skills and other capacities.

Iraqis serving Iraqis is not such a bad thing.

Package of services? Draw a boundary around a particular area. The
regional administration here could provide a full service: security
(first and foremost!), water repair (tankering in the interim),
electricity repair (standby generators in the interim),
repair/resupplying/re-equipping health facilities and schools and other
public facilities, lots of repair and paint and whitewash maximizing
local participation, cleanup and rubbish disposal, restocking local
markets with essential items, reactivating food/flour agents,
reactivating standard municipal services, the whole gamut of public
services including international communications and Internet services.

They've done it up here and there is no reason to anticipate they could
not do it very well down there.

Let's frankly and openly agree on one thing. The people of Iraqi
Kurdistan - Kurds, Turkmens, Assyrians, Armenians, whoever - are very
acceptable to Arab Shia and Arab Sunni who may not be so acceptable to
each other. Arabs are here, too. I bought my Thuraya satellite phone
from an Arab in Erbil who taught me how to connect it to my laptop so I
could access email anywhere I happened to be. Some Arabs teach in the
local universities. There are now Arab villagers who have been in
Kurdistan for centuries who will continue to remain. This summer, hoards
of Arab tourists are expected to visit the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan
they have been restricted from by Saddam since 1991. Obviously, they
will come without fear, they will come with their families. It's already

So, why isn't this obvious available asset not being taken full
advantage of? Why isn't Iraqi Kurdistan contributing to the security and
stability of the rest of the country? Why the hesitancy in engaging a
readily available and obviously proven successful asset to get done what
urgently needs to be done yesterday.

Engineers (civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, communications,
petroleum)? Iraqi Kurdistan could provide 100 in an hour, 1,000 in a day
(by the way, half would be women). Skilled technicians and laborers?
Trucks and other heavy machinery, with operators? No problem, how many
hundreds and thousands?

What's going on here?

Los Angeles Times
Senators Criticize Rumsfeld Over Instability Plaguing Iraq
By Esther Schrader
Times Staff Writer
May 15, 2003

WASHINGTON — Democratic and Republican senators alike lashed out
Wednesday at the military's efforts to stabilize Iraq, reprimanding
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for not having a "coherent plan" to
tackle the wave of violence sweeping Baghdad.

Speaking in stern tones to a packed hearing room, members of the
Senate's defense appropriations subcommittee said they were concerned
that crime and instability in Iraq threatened to undo the military
victory against Saddam Hussein's regime.

"The lack of stability concerns me," said Sen. Pete V. Domenici
(R-N.M.). "It is absolutely imperative that the U.S. maintain order
regardless of how difficult it is.

"Because without it, there is a real chance that the people of that
country will assume that the victory that we claim is not a victory at
all," he said.

"At this point there is no evidence that you have any coherent plan" to
bring order to the fractured country, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) told

The subcommittee is weighing the Defense Department's 2004 budget
request. But the budget received scant attention from senators compared
with the reports of chaos in the Iraqi capital, where the U.S. is in charge.

Rumsfeld called published reports of anarchy in Baghdad "overstatement"
but acknowledged that the looting and violent crime there "is a
problem." U.S. forces are doing everything they can to bring it to a
stop, he added.

"The one thing that is central to success is security," Rumsfeld said
under questioning from Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.). "We have a
full-court press on that."

Noting the recent move to replace the Pentagon's handpicked
administrator in Iraq, retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, with former
ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, Byrd said, "I hope that the recent
shake-up in the civilian leadership of the U.S. occupation authority
will help the situation and will not amount to merely rearranging the
deck chairs on the Titanic."

But Rumsfeld took issue with Byrd's characterization of the move, saying
Garner "is not being replaced."

"From the very outset, it was clearly understood that at some point a
senior civilian would be brought in, and Ambassador Bremer is that
individual. There is no shake-up," he said.

Rumsfeld said both Garner and Bremer, who had arrived in Baghdad on
Monday, are doing "terrific" jobs in circumstances complicated by the
prewar emptying of Iraqi jails and an infrastructure badly degraded even
before the war.

Rumsfeld also promised that U.S. and coalition troops would be using
"muscle" in dealing with disorder. He did not elaborate, but the Army
general in charge of ground forces in Iraq on Wednesday denied a
published report that soldiers would start shooting looters.

Lt. Gen. David McKiernan said that simple looting is not enough to
warrant opening fire on Iraqi civilians, unless soldiers are threatened.

Soldiers will, however, arrest and hold those caught in criminal acts,
he said.

Quizzed by Byrd on why U.S. troops had not secured sites where Iraqis
were believed to be developing nuclear weapons before the sites were
stripped by looters, Rumsfeld said U.S. forces "had a lot of tasks to
deal with."

"It is not possible to have enough forces in a country instantaneously
to guard every site so somebody won't get into it," he said.

Rumsfeld said the Pentagon has no evidence that nuclear materials were
taken by looters.

Assailing criticism of the pace of the stabilization effort, Rumsfeld
said, "We can't make it right in five minutes."

He told the committee that 15,000 to 20,000 troops from the Army's 1st
Armored Division would arrive in Iraq in the next seven to 20 days,
joining the approximately 142,000 U.S. service members already there.
The infusion had been announced earlier. With British and other
coalition forces, it will bring the total in Iraq to 175,000.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told
the subcommittee there were still 309,000 U.S. troops in and around Iraq
and stationed on ships within close range of the country.

Rumsfeld vowed daily improvements in Iraqis' living conditions and said
the military would make an all-out effort to provide the security needed
for reconstruction.

"The circumstances of people in that country are better than they were
before the war," Rumsfeld said. "They're going to get better every day."

As politics toughen up, Iraqi groups grow louder over US role

BAGHDAD, 15/5 2003 (AFP) — As political groups prepared for their first
talks with the new US boss in Iraq, Paul Bremer, local leaders stepped
up criticism of what they said was an expanding US grip on their
country's future.

The groups, handpicked by Washington to help form Iraq's first
post-Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) democratic government, say the
United States is trying to control too much of the nation's destiny and
leaving too little in their own hands.

"What's happening now is that the Americans are relying too much on
their own advisors," said one official, who asked not to be named for
fear of angering his US counterparts ahead of the talks, expected on Friday.

"It's already happened at the ministry of foreign affairs and the
ministry of industry. It means that whatever minister is eventually
named by the government will have no power whatsoever," he said.

Facing pressure to speed up the rebuilding of Iraq, the US-British
coalition has appointed its own advisors to oversee main government
ministries in a bid to restore basic services and bring the war-battered
nation back on its feet.

But as the various Iraqi groups and leaders jostle for power ahead of a
national congress this month to select a new government, charges of
heavy-handedness have grown louder and more public in recent days.

Adnan Pachachi, a respected former foreign minister who has just
returned to Iraq from 33 years of exile, used a press conference this
week to slam the United States over the post-war lawlessness terrorising
much of the nation.

Jalal Talabani, head of one of the two main Kurdish factions, said
Wednesday that a US proposal at the United Nations to bring Iraq's oil
revenue under temporary coalition control was a threat to Iraq's

"It shows the United States and Britain backtracking on pledges we have
heard repeatedly," he said.

Meanwhile the US-backed Iraqi National Congress of Ahmad Chalabi, which
has its own militia established with the help of the Pentagon, has taken
the lead in blasting US cooperation with former members of Saddam's
Baath Party.

"That some Baathists returned to high positions is not acceptable," an
INC spokesman, Entifadh Qanbar, said on Tuesday. "The Baathists will
make a comeback if they are not prevented from doing so."

Some backing away from the United States was to be expected as the
various groups try to establish their independence in the minds of
Iraqis who will not accept a US-dictated government.

But the mounting criticism, unspoken in the first weeks after Saddam was
toppled on April 9, has added to the challenge facing Bremer, who took
the reins of the US administration in Iraq this week.

A career diplomat, Bremer will have to smooth over the cracks which
appeared under retired US general Jay Garner, whose early administration
of the country featured little in the way of public communication.

He will have the lead role in guiding Iraq toward a democratic
government and any sign that the United States has overstepped its
bounds will spell trouble for the bid to create an effective leadership
in the wake of Saddam.

The opposition official who asked to remain anonymous said Iraqi
political parties were hoping Bremer and his team would understand that
the opposition played its part in Saddam's ouster and will not accept a
back-seat role.

"We'll talk to them as friends and allies ... We hope the coalition will
acknowledge our role," said the official, from one of the seven groups
on the so-called leadership council which is helping to prepare the new

Bremer and the top British envoy here, John Sawers, were set to meet
with the council, which groups Chalabi and Talabani, but not Pachachi,
on Friday. Sawers on Thursday downplayed the criticism.

"These are partners to work with through the transition. Iraq's
government will be chosen by the Iraqi people under a new constitution
that will be drawn up by Iraqis," he said after talks with the other
Kurdish member of the council, Massoud Barzani.

"This is not a new government," he said.

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